Top 3 Museums for the Best Contemporary Art in Rome

Rome represents the pinnacle of artistic achievement; it is the fountainhead of Baroque and Renaissance art and the birthplace of creative maestros like Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Botticelli, who have been fundamental to Rome’s status as a worldwide artistic powerhouse.

With its foundation in antique art, Rome has now become focused on nurturing its contemporary talent. This has initiated the launch of many museums and galleries dedicated to modern art, which are central to strengthening the future of Italian art and culture. These urban centres are unique windows into the lifestyle of modern society; they are important platforms for emerging Italian artists, helping them express diverse viewpoints and build international reputations.

From government funded to private-run venues, below is our pick of three leading museums in the contemporary art scene of Rome. Art admirers will surely enjoy the innovative collections tastefully displayed in spacious venues.


Museo di Arte Comtemporanea di Roma, abbreviated to MACRO, is a multifunctional museum actively promoting contemporary artistic production.  The main part is located in Salario neighbourhood, where the old Peroni beer brewery was transformed into a museum building in 1999. In 2004, the museum was extended to include new wings designed by French architect Odile Decq. The museum has a modernistic appearance yet it fits well into the typical Roman neighbourhood comprising classical buildings, local shops and trattorias. The institution arranges several artistic and educational exhibitions. Additionally, there are places of enjoyment such as an elegant cafe, a gift shop, bookstore and large terraces.


MAXXI, the National Museum of the XXI Century Arts, is the first national Italian establishment fully dedicated to contemporary creativeness. It is more like an art laboratory fostering cultural research, innovation and experiments; the goal is to be an institute devoted to the creation of artistic content representative of our times. You can enjoy plenty of activities, including conferences, exhibitions, educational programmes and shows. More than anything else, the museum should be visited for its unique architecture, which was designed by Zaha Hadid – she was awarded with architecture’s highest accolade, the prestigious Sterling Prize, for this amazing and unusual creation! The stark, white architecture, which incorporates old army barracks, stands out in a traditional Roman ambience.


Flanked by the gorgeous gardens of the Borghese Villa, GNAM or the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, is a prominent public institute displaying a varied collection of beautiful artworks. The external appearance of the building is very classical with an old-fashioned touch to it. The interior has been updated over the years and showcases a mixture of modern paintings and photographs, neoclassical sculptures and nonlinear art exhibitions, like the ‘’Time Is Out of Joint’’, which is centred on dialogues between artists belonging to different art periods.

On that Note:

To have an insightful exploration of Rome’s artistic heritage, book with Vatican Tours. Our Vatican Museum tour lets you explore the treasure-trove of exquisite art at your own pace, without crowds and queues. We also provide private tours that allow you to design you own itinerary where you can include contemporary art museums as well as other alternative sites.